Music fans in Northern California and across the globe are in mourning today after the sad death of Deftones bassist, Chi Cheng, early Saturday morning. Chi had been in a partially-conscious state after a car crash in 2008, but bandmates, friends and fans never gave up hope that the Sacramento musician and poet would recover and return full-time to the band he had helped found. Cheng was 42.
Cheng's mother, "Mom J", announced the news on the One Love For Chi website: "Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing... He was taken to the emergency room and at 3 a.m. today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear."
Chi Cheng's loss is particularly disappointing after hopes surfaced early in 2012 that he was on the road to recovery, after waking up from a three-year coma. Chi fought hard and long to survive, so to lose him now is devastating for the many thousands of people who loved both his music and his spirit.
Twitter lit up with tributes immediately. Slipknot's Corey Taylor wrote: "My friend Chi passed away. My heart goes out to his family, and to my friends in @deftones. This is indeed a sad day..." Tributes were also Tweeted by the likes of Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump, My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way, Papa Roach, Hatebreed, P.O.D. and even Slash. Deftones frontman, Chino Moreno, hit Facebook to simply state: "Rest in peace, Chi Cheng."
Far frontman and San Francisco resident Jonah Matranga, wrote on his blog: "I'm on tour, waking up and finding out he's finally, really gone. Along with the beyond-measure grief thinking of his family and loved
ones, I'm feeling really deep gratitude for the people I met through
Matranga wrote Far's "At Night We Live" in 2009, about a particularly vivid dream he'd had after visiting his friend in the hospital, in which he and Cheng were hanging out and talking again. "In the daytime we're dead," Matranga sings, "but at night we live."